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Photo: Joby Aviation

Uber has agreed to sell Elevate, its "flying taxi" division, to Joby Aviation, the company said on Tuesday, confirming Axios' recent reporting. It's also investing $75 million into Joby as part of the deal.

Why it matters: Despite making a lot of noise about its ambitions for futuristic transportation, Uber has now sold off both its autonomous driving unit and its aircraft unit.

Details: Joby is taking in Uber's Elevate technology and team, and the companies plan to integrate each other's services into their respective apps as part of the deal.

  • Elevate has developed software tools for functions like routing simulations and getting passengers from one transportation mode to another, and has a wealth of trip data that can be useful in planning how and where to make vertical take-off and landing aircraft service available, Joby Aviation exec chairman Paul Sciarra tells Axios.
  • In addition to a new $75 million, Uber previously invested $50 million into Joby as part of the startup's most recent financing round.
  • Joby declined to comment on the acquisition price and terms for the Elevate business.

The big picture: Joby is part of a slew of companies in the last few years that are hoping to diversify commercial air transportation beyond the planes we know today.

  • The company says it plans to get FAA certification for its aircraft in 2023 and then work to make it available in the U.S.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 16, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Bill Gates, Amazon buy stake in clean aviation startup ZeroAvia

Photo: Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

ZeroAvia, a startup looking to commercialize hydrogen fuel cell-powered aviation, secured over $21 million from backers including the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon and Shell.

Why it matters: Aviation is a substantial source of carbon emissions and finding ways to wring emissions from the sector is a big challenge, so these efforts are worth watching.

Dec 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Lyft to offer self-driving taxis in several cities in 2023

A self-driving Lyft in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Motional

Autonomous vehicles will be available on Lyft's ride-sharing network in multiple U.S. cities beginning in 2023, Lyft and self-driving tech company Motional announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It represents a potential milestone in the commercial rollout of self-driving technology, which AV developers say will lead to safer, lower-cost transportation.

36 mins ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.